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Int J Nanomedicine. 2018 Nov 1;13:7019-7031. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S185715. eCollection 2018.

Injectable hydrogel composite containing modified gold nanoparticles: implication in bone tissue regeneration.

Author information

Department of Dental Materials, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea,
Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.
Department of Detistry, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.
Department of Neurosurgery, CHA Bundang Medical Center, CHA University, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 13496, Republic of Korea.
Department of Dental Education, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.
Department of Maxillofacial Biomedical Engineering, School of Dentistry, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.
The Discoveries Centre for Regenerative and Precision Medicine, Headquarters at University of Minho, Barco, Guimarães, Portugal.



For effective bone regeneration, it is necessary to implant a biocompatible scaffold that is capable of inducing cell growth and continuous osteogenic stimulation at the defected site. Here, we suggest an injectable hydrogel system using enzymatic cross-linkable gelatin (Gel) and functionalized gold nanoparticles (GNPs).


In this work, tyramine (Ty) was synthesized on the gelatin backbone (Gel-Ty) to enable a phenol crosslinking reaction with horseradish peroxidase (HRP). N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) was attached to the GNPs surface (G-NAC) for promoting osteodifferentiation.


The Gel-Ty hydrogels containing G-NAC (Gel-Ty/G-NAC) had suitable mechanical strength and biocompatibility to embed and support the growth of human adipose derived stem cells (hASCs) during a proliferation test for three days. In addition, G-NAC promoted osteodifferentiation both when it was included in Gel-Ty and when it was used directly in hASCs. The osteogenic effects were demonstrated by the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity test.


These findings indicate that the phenol crosslinking reaction is suitable for injectable hydrogels for tissue regeneration and G-NAC stimulate bone regeneration. Based on our results, we suggest that Gel-Ty/G-NAC hydrogels can serve both as a biodegradable graft material for bone defect treatment and as a good template for tissue engineering applications such as drug delivery, cell delivery, and various tissue regeneration uses.


N-acetyl cysteine; enzymatic cross-linking; gelatin; nanomaterial; osteogenesis

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.

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